Friday, June 28, 2013

Mommy Makeup

I am a girly-girl at heart, and I love trying new makeup products and taking my time doing my makeup. When I lived with roommates in college, we used to love sharing our makeup with each other and could easily take an hour just talking and "putting on our faces."
Flash forward to the present, and I'm a mommy who doesn't get to play "dress up" too often.  I get so excited when I have a reason to do my hair and play with makeup, but most days it's little to nothing on this face.  However, this face is blemished with acne scars and redness, and I'm breaking out again as my hormones continue to find their place in this world...I really miss my pregnant skin :(  So rather than leaving for the grocery store in naked-face and scaring shoppers out of the produce section, I have a quick, easy, and effective "mommy makeup" routine. It's not glamorous, but I think it's a good bare minimum. 
Running the risk of scaring you away from my blog, I'm putting my pride to the side and posting before and after:

This routine takes me about 5 minutes, and uses only 8 products (Amazon links provided for each product below):

1.  L'Oreal Studio Secrets Magic B.B. Cream, Light, 1 Fluid Ounce I was skeptical about this "magic" BB cream craze at first, but the more I use this product, the more I like it.  I haven't tried any other brands yet, so I can't give a comparison, but this BB Cream is the comfort of a tinted moisturizer, but with more coverage.  It also gives a finish to the skin such that I feel a powder is not necessary.  That saves a step, and is better for the hot, summer weather too.

2.  Maybelline New York Instant Age Rewind Eraser Dark Spot Concealer Plus Treatment, Light/Medium, 0.2 Fluid Ounce I use this under my eyes and to cover up any remaining blemishes the BB cream left behind.  This gives great coverage, yet feels very light on the skin.  The built-in sponge applicator makes this "dark spot eraser" easy and quick to apply.

3.  Wet n Wild Color Icon Eyeshadow Trio 381B Sweet As Candy This is an old palette I've recently been using again.  I use the pink for a subtle wash of color on my lids (sometimes adding the brown), the white to highlight and brighten the inner corner of my eyes, and the brown I use with a stiff angled brush to fill in my eyebrows. I think filling in the brows is a step that makes such a difference for everyone!

4.  Beauty Control eyeliner in "Smoke":  This was a gift a while back and I didn't even use it for the longest time.  I love it now for a couple reasons.  It glides on so smoothly, and the shade is not harsh, but gives a little definition.  I line my upper lash line and just the outer 1/4-1/2 of my lower lash line.

5.  Sally Hansen Beauty Tools, Sexy Curls-Precision Eyelash Curler with Refill (Pack of 2) What a difference curled lashes make!  Even if you're not going to put on a drop of makeup, curled lashes will really wake up your face.

6.  L'Oreal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara, Blackest Black, 0.33-Fluid OunceThis mascara may take a little more time to apply than others, but let me tell you why it's worth it.  First, apply the first white coat, then immediately apply the mascara while the white coat is still wet.  As it dries, the mascara form "tubes" around your lashes giving them thickness and length.  The great part about this mascara is that it does not smudge under my eyes throughout the day, or run when my eyes water or I have a hormonal mommy moment.  This will also save you time when you wash your face at night, because all you need is warm water to remove!  No eye-makeup remover necessary! The mascara "tubes" magically, and gently, glide right off your lashes with warm water.  I love this stuff.

7.  MILANI Baked Blush-MLMMBL08 CorallinaThis is a very pigmented, pretty pink blush and you don't need very much to get some color on the cheeks.  A little color on the apples of your cheeks and up your cheekbones is also a great way to wake up the face. 

8.  L'Oreal Colour Riche Le Balm, Pink Satin, 0.1 OunceThis is a newer product from L'Oreal and I am loving it!  I haven't tried any other shades yet, but I'm restraining on buying more right now because I have a "problem" and slight obsession with lip products.  I once had 12 lip products living in my purse!  This glides on and wears like a lip balm, and gives color and slight shine like a lip gloss but without the stickiness.  There is no scent or waxiness to this product, so I don't even feel like I'm wearing anything on my lips...they just feel nicely moisturized with a little wash of color.

I usually end up putting my hair in a pony or  messy bun, but the above hair was blow-dried and then set in Velcro rollers while I did my makeup.  Take the rollers out when your makeup is done, and you have smoothness and volume.  I know I am more accomplished during the day when I take a few minutes to put myself together, put on my "pearl" earrings, and do a little something with my hair.  Even if it's just 10 minutes, I believe it's healthy, and necessary, for you to take some time to make yourself feel good...because you're worth it!  For you, maybe putting on makeup holds no interest to you, or does nothing for you, but maybe you really enjoy sitting on the porch in the morning with a cup of coffee (I like that too).  Just remember to do something for yourself every day, no matter how small. 

Please share what makeup products you love and make your life easier, in the comments section below!

This post linked to House of Rose

Thursday, June 27, 2013

5 Dinners-in-1 Hour

My mom introduced me to 5 dinners-in-1 hour and I am going to be bold and say that it may have changed my life!  Yes, it is that awesome and convenient.  I love to cook, but it's difficult to be gone for eleven hours on a work day, spend time with our child when I get home, and still find time to make a healthy, home-cooked meal.  Not to mention the meal planning and grocery shopping involved to make that happen as well.
You will also get a shopping list, which makes things even easier.  I find it's easiest to do my grocery shopping and meal prep on the same day, since everything will already be out on the counter. It is as simple as it sounds:  Prepare all of your dinners for the week (I prep on Sat or Sun) and store in the fridge.  Then, when you get home from work, all you have to do is dump the prepped meal in the oven and cook it.  No mess-making prep at night, and minimal clean-up after dinner when you've already had a long day. 

Seriously, you have to try this out!  Click here for a free sample menu
We had shredded chicken tacos tonight, with lemon-cilantro black beans and rice.  All I had to do was pull the Ziploc bag of prepped chicken out of the fridge and stick it in the crock pot. 
So easy. 
So good.
Such a money-saver!
The link in the sidebar will also take you to their website.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Natalie, Part 3: Making a Difference

Hey Momsters!  I am so behind on my posts, but it's ok, because I've been having fun getting ready for our Sweetie Pie's 1st Birthday party which was this past Saturday!  We had so much fun!  Stay tuned, because I'll be sharing pictures and projects from the party. 
I've been highlighting Natalie as my MOM for June and she is sharing her story of returning to college with three young children (Click here for Part 1 and Part 2).  Since she started school in 2009, Natalie has learned a lot about herself, her worldviews, and how she was never quite as open-minded as she once proclaimed.  She honestly explains:
"Being in the ELL endorsement [program], and living in an area with a large number of immigrants (mostly Mexican) I have become so much more aware of the sterrotypes and prejudices people foster towards others.  It makes me sad to think how ignorant people can be and that I was once a part of that."
Natalie was not happy when they moved to their current town, and she knew that their oldest son would be going to school there. However, her views have completely changed now that she has learned more about the schools and the curriculum, and has worked inside the schools as a practicum student.  Natalie is now encouraged, and determined to become an amazingly supportive teacher because "These students face so many challenges, and are often the students who are at the highest risk of failure and dropout, but all they need is the right support and motivation."  
Natalie graduates in just under on year in May 2014, and she will have her BA in Education with an ELL endorsement (which means she took specific classes to learn how to best teach English Language Learners).  She is hoping to teach the third grade within a large ELL population, as they tend to face the biggest hurdles when it comes to academic success. Although she would like to continue to brush up on her Spanish, and is interested in working with native Spanish speakers, she will have the tools to work with all English Language Learners, regardless of their native language. 
What helped Natalie push forward when the journey seemed too difficult? 
"This has been a long and difficult journey, and there have been plenty of times I wanted to give up, but knowing that I could really make a difference in a student's life, that I could be that teacher that had a positive impact keeps me going.  It is a great responsibility, and one that I don't take lightly. Being a parent also helped me see the role of the teacher in a new light - I know that I want to be the kind of teacher I want my own kids to have.  It won't be easy, but keeping it in that perspective will help make it more attainable."
Natalie and I at my graduation.  We get to do this again next year!
Natalie, you are an amazing Momster and you are going to make a fabulous teacher!  I am so proud of your hard work and sacrifice, and am so happy for you to be nearing the end of your're almost done!  Thank you for sharing your story.  I hope that another Momster reading this may be inspired to step outside her comfort zone and take a risk in order to make a dream come true. 

"With great risk comes great reward"
or is it...
 "With great power comes great responsibility"...?
Either way, you'll be grrrreat!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Natalie's Typical Tuesday

Natalie is my Momster of the Month for June (Click here if you want to read her story), and below is what her Typical Tuesday looks like:
When I was in school, it was my longest day. 
9:00 - Drop my son 'G' off at preschool, and then I would head to WSU campus.
10:35 - 11:50 - My morning class. 
I then had a six-hour break until my next class at 5:45.  Sometimes I would stay at school the entire time to work on homework, because I could never get much accomplished if I went home. 
5:45-8:30 - Night class. 
9:00 - Home.
Most Tuesdays, I would be gone for an entire 12 hours.  However, now that I am out of school for the summer, that has totally changed.  I don't do anything except hang out at the house with the kids.  Alfredo has that day off, so that is the one day we have together as a family.  I am loving it, especially since I know that it will all change once I start school again in August."

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Natalie - Part 2: Ch-ch-change

Change isn't always easy.  Change takes sacrifice, faith and perseverance.   Natalie's journey in returning to college with three young children is inspiring and proves that setting goals and keeping your eyes on the outcome will help you get through the difficult "in-between".  Although it hasn't always been easy, Natalie enjoys the fact that she's working towards a concrete goal, and every class that she takes and every connection along the way is getting her closer and closer to that goal.

"As an introvert and loner by nature, I am glad that I have had the opportunity to get to know people that I can stay connected with when I leave school. I am glad that I am moving on the path to bettering the lives of my own children, as well as the children I will be in contact with in the future. I look forward to being a positive influence in my students’ lives, and can’t wait to be the kind of teacher my students will (hopefully) someday look back on with fondness."

Having such a great support system has also helped Natalie physically and emotionally.  She has a lot of family very close by...they live with her in-laws, and her parents live about one hour away.  Although living with her husband's family has been an adjustment, they have been a huge help in watching her children.  "I cannot imagine having to deal with daycare for the kids.  I would not be able to do this if we didn't have them to help out." 
Natalie's husband Alfredo has always been incredibly supportive, and this past year his work scheduled changed so that he can stay home some days with their kids.  However, this means that Natalie and Alfredo rarely get to see each other because they never have a "day off" together.  "Above and beyond everything else, just having family who I know support me and who are proud of me, makes everything much easier."

Natalie and her husband Alfredo
Natalie, that light is shining brightly at the end of your tunnel!  You are so close to being done with school, and then you will have years and years of spending time with your husband and little monkeys and it will all be worth it :)
What words of encouragement does Natalie have for someone who may be thinking of returning to school?  Someone who might think they are "too old"?
"If you’re waiting for the right time, it‘s never going to happen. Sometimes you just have to take that leap – even if it is just starting slowly, online like I did, or one or two classes here and there. Being too old isn’t an excuse, especially since the longer you wait, the older you’ll get."
So true.  Waiting for the perfect time to make any kind of change in your life is tricky, because the "prefect" time will never arrive.  The time to make a change is when you make up your mind that a change is needed.  Pray, seek wise counsel, set a goal...and go for it!


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Natalie - Part 1: Leading by Example

June's Momster of the Month, is my sister Natalie! I am so proud of her decision to return to school and the positive impact she is making for her family.  I've been through college, and it was not easy.  Natalie is getting ready to start her final year of the BA in Education program through WSU and she has miraculously maintained a nearly perfect GPA while raising three children.
Natalie started college at WSU after graduating high school.  However, she hated living in the dorm and her major of choice, Vocal Performance, was geared toward classical/opera and she was not interested in opera at all.  Then tragedy struck just after Christmas break of her Freshman year when her friend, Sean, was killed in a car accident.  Natalie recalls, "Having to deal with that, coupled with not having the opportunities in my major, I dropped out..." 
College, round two, Natalie transferred to a non-denominational college in Michigan to major in Music Industry Production, but she left that school after just one year.  "I liked the classes, and the major, but the school was unwelcoming and judgmental...".  Natalie said the way she was treated made her feel as if her Christian beliefs were "wrong and borderline evil".
Natalie then spent years working several different customer service and retail jobs.  By this time, Natalie and her husband had two boys who were 2.5 years and 6-months old.  While working at a dead-end job that she hated, she recalls how the decision to return to school arose. 
"I realized that if I expected my kids to be successful and do something productive with their lives, I needed to set a better example.  I was getting to the age where I felt like I had so much potential in the past that I had just squandered and I really needed to get myself into gear to try to make something of myself that my children could look up to." 
Natalie was not sure what exactly she wanted to do, but was interested in teaching and working with kids.  Because she needed to be able to start taking classes online, she contacted the University of Phoenix, was walked through the enrollment process, and was told she could start the very next week!  She was shocked!  Natalie took a couple of weeks to mentally prepare for the reality that she was actually doing this, and started the week after Thanksgiving in 2009. 
Returning to college after you've been out of school for about ten years would call for plenty of adjustment, but Natalie had to also do this with two young children, and she then had a baby girl in 2011!  Natalie finds that, understandably, the most challenging aspect of returning to school with young children has been trying to find time to do homework.  Also, the biggest challenge came when she started taking classes full-time on campus.  She has to coordinate everyone's schedule to make sure there is someone to watch the kids. 
Also, since starting the Education program full-time, Natalie has been unable to work so money has been very tight. 

"When I was still taking online classes, I worked two part-time jobs. After I started full-time at WSU, that went down to one part-time job. As soon as I started in the education program I haven’t worked at all. The work load was too much to have to try to fit in a job as well as taking care of the kiddos. There was no way I could do all of it, and the job was the only thing that could go. I recently started selling Scentsy, but have yet to turn a profit on it, and I also got a very part time job at the Bookie on campus. It is only a few hours here and there during book buy back, but it is something and I enjoy it. While I am in school, Alfredo has been the money maker."

If you are familiar with Scentsy products (or would like to find out more) and would like to support Natalie's business by purchasing some fantastic scents for your home, click here to visit her website.

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Click here for Part 2: Ch-ch-change to read about Natalie's support system, and her words of encouragement to anyone thinking about returning to school.